A narrow one goal win was enough for West Ham United to go level on points with leaders Southampton in the Championship. Even though West Ham United have played a game more than Southampton, this is a crucial advantage for Sam Allardyce’s men.

The 1-0 win against Barnsley will take them to 43 points from 22 matches, while Southampton also have the same points tally but from 21 matches. Papa Bouba Diop is usually known for his defensive abilities, but he turned out to be the unlikeliest of scorers for West Ham United.

Sam Allardyce has a shortlist of 25 players as he looks to bolster his injury-hit West Ham squad during the January transfer window.

He is currently coping without eight first-team players, while suspensions to Jack Collison and Joey O’Brien have also made things tough.

Speaking to BBC London 94.9, he said: “There are about 25 names on my pad already at the minute.

“It is important to sift through the information we have and try to make the right choices as quickly as we can.”

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce is being linked with a cameo role in a movie next year, though it seems that he is much more effective at managing the club!

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce isn’t happy with the constant moaning from fans – especially given that the team are currently on good form!

Whilst he could understand the fans concerns if the team was losing each match, he didn’t expect to be having to answer to fans when the team are lying in 2nd place in the Championship, and with a great chance to get promoted.

“I don’t know why they are moaning about winning,” Allardyce told the Newham Recorder. “Because all this team did before was lose.

“It doesn’t make any sense to me, but you’re talking about the small handful.

Sam Allardyce has said that West Ham will be targeting to return to the Premier league. “As difficult a task as that is going to be, it can be achieved,” he said.

“With the club the size of West Ham it needs to be achieved as soon as possible because the long term goal is the Olympic stadium.”

The former Bolton and Blackburn boss replaced Avram Grant after the Hammers’ relegation to the Championship.

West Ham United are expected to submit a bid to move into the Olympic Stadium following the 2012 Games. It looks set to become mired in a flurry of legal challenges after Leyton Orient’s chairman, Barry Hearn, lodged an application for a judicial review against the government, the mayor of London and Newham council.

West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has said that he is worried about their capacity to fill the Olympic stadium. West Ham are already in a battle against the drop and, with their move to Stratford still three years away, the Irons had to prove their Olympic project is sustainable.

Sullivan told The People: “We’ve had to convince accountants that we can survive forever in the Championship. But I still think we can get 40,000 attendances in that league.”

Hammers also plan to cover the athletics track with synthetic turf – introducing temporary seating behind the goals.

West Ham United have signed Senegal striker Demba Ba on a new contract till 2014. The 25-year-old joins the Hammers from Hoffenheim after he announced on his website earlier this week that he would be joining on a six-month loan.

Ba has scored six times for the Bundesliga club this season and has 40 goals in 103 appearances overall.

“It was a long story but now I’m happy because it had a really good end and I am glad to be here,” he said.

West Ham United manager Avram Grant has said that he wants to maintain the focus for this team despite the recent good form. The Hammers, who host the Blues in Tuesday’s first leg at 1945 GMT live on BBC Two, have been linked with a move for ex-Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce.

Grant said: “I have answered about this a thousand times. We are here because of a semi-final, a big game.

“My position is clear. I am the manager and will do my best for the club.”